All posts tagged: aid

Haiti earthquake: why should citizenship matter?

In the wake of the Haiti earthquake crisis, the American Red Cross posted information about the U.S. State Department’s efforts in finding loved ones in the disaster zone. That’s where I saw this sentence: “Unfortunately at this time, inquiries to search for non-U.S. Citizens missing in Haiti are not being accepted.” I understand that with limited resources, it makes perfect sense for people to “help their own.” However, this statement is frustrating because I firmly believe that “citizenship” is a flawed way of defining a person’s identity or national ties, and should not used as a segregator — whether in disaster relief aid or other situations. “Citizenship” is a legal status that is easily manipulated. It is not an identity, it does not define a human being, and it should not be misconstrued as such. “What’s your citizenship?” as a substitute for “Who are you?” As TCKs, we know that equating citizenship with a person’s identity is flawed. Every day, people greet TCKs with questions such as “Where are you from?” or “What’s your citizenship?” …